My airport routine has changed a lot since diagnosis. Lung cancer is like heavy, oversized baggage you can’t check.
I need help to get through security, to the gate, down the ramp, up the ramp, and to the rental car counter or passenger pick-up.
People aren’t sure of me… After all, I don’t wear a “cancer on board” t-shirt. I’m young, I still have some hair, my leg isn’t in a cast; I suppose I look like anyone else. They would never guess how sick I really am.
Back at the airport, the wheelchair assistance and electric carts get me from point A to B. But if I need to use the ladies’ room or get something to drink, I must fend for myself. Luckily I can often impose on a nearby stranger with light baggage to help me with one of those chores. (Again, I get the “Are your legs broken?” look.)
I have never minded airports. I certainly saw plenty of them while traveling for work. And I appreciate the order, the process, the consistency.
But now they are just another reminder of how life has changed. It’s a real pain in the ass, carrying this baggage everywhere I go.